Thursday, January 20, 2011

Digging: More 45 rips for y'all!

Since, apparently, nobody is releasing new music in 2011 and I'm eager to write, well, I'm gonna do something I should've done a while ago, write about old music. Yes, once again, here's a collection of vinyl rips done by yours truly, generously made accessible to you all in MP3 format, all of them from 7'' records I've been finding in the last few months. 

EMIR BOSCAN Y LOS TOMASINOS-Yolanda/Carmenza (Top Hits, 1976): I'd never heard of this guy before but from what I found online he's Venezuelan and was particularly famous during his time in Mexico. This last bit I'm just inferring, because this record has been widely sampled by ñu-cumbia artists from that country. The actual songs are not really remarkable (they mix cumbia with Spanish-style singing, too weird), but you'll recognize the samples right away. "Carmenza"'s opening break was the foundation of Up, Bustle & Out's "Cumbión Mountain" sampled by Chico Sonido and that right there is one os the most important tracks in cumbia's new school, period. On the B side you find "Yolanda" which was sampled by M.I.S. on his memorable "Para No Vivir Desesperado." As a side note, the name Yolanda was apparently very popular in the cumbia circles, I have at least four different songs from the 70's and 80's titled after women with that name! Is that where the Yolanda Be Cool guys got their name from?

AFROSOUND-Nadie Sabe De Mis Penas (Discos Fuentes, 1991): Afrosound is like every Cumbia connoisseur's favorite group, but this one single in particular came out way past their prime. I didn't even know they were still pressing 7'' vinyl in 1991... and in Latin America! Anyway, there's one instrumental song in here with a Peruvian chicha style guitar and some cheesy drum machine beat. It's not very good but it has a clean bass line loop ready for sampling in the intro and a breakdown with dubbed out vocals in the middle that's pretty sweet. The b-side however was so wack that I didn't even bothered ripping it, it's a synth-lambada with kids singing about how the poor kids in Cuba wanna leave the island but Fidel doesn't allow them. What the fuck?!

LA SONORA DINAMITA-El Apretón/Canto, Amor y Pena (Discos Fuentes, 1983): I don't like La Sonora Dinamita. Even though they are Colombian in origin, they represent the status-quo of über-commercial cumbia in Mexico, the country where they're the most popular. I only discovered them after moving to the US and DJing at Latin parties with a Mexican-immigrant majority and they'd come up and request their songs. First I used to reject them, but eventually I ended up giving up and including a few of them in my sets. I still don't like them (too much focus on brass instruments make them sound like salsa) but I have to give it to them for always releasing good dance-floor packing tunes like these two.

ANIBAL VELAZQUEZ-Gloria/Cumbia De Los Aires (AMS Records, Date Unknown): If you like accordion cumbia, you can never go wrong with this guy! He has recorded some of the most amazing gems of the genre and if you're smart you have already picked up a copy of that Mambo Loco compilation that Analog Africa released last year. These are two dope uptempo tracks irresistible to any cumbia dancer. I know for sure both will stay in constant rotation on my DJ sets for a long time.

LOS TRAFICANTES DE ACAPULCO-La Cumbiambera/María (Cintas Acuario, Date Unknown): Whenever I'm digging for old Latin music vinyl, I always follow this golden rule: unless it's Los Corraleros de Majagual, NEVER waste my money on music by any group with a name like "Los (something) De (somewhere)", especially if they're from Mexico. That's a recipe for disaster. Even if they have the word cumbia on the label, most probably they're not a cumbia band but a ranchera/regional/
norteño/banda/whatever-crap band playing a cumbia; and since those mustached dudes suffer from a collective absolute lack of rhythm, any time they wanna do a cumbia, the results are nothing short from horrible. This one here sounds like it was sung by a 12 year old boy, but the nonsense lyrics suggest it's probably a girl. Anyway, I didn't bother ripping the other side because it's a ranchera. Why did I break my golden rule in this case you might ask? Let's just say amid the confusion of digging the record accidentally slipped into my bag and wasn't really "paid."

LISANDRO MEZA-Me voy para la luna/El Soldado (FM, 1982): Another of the all time Colombian cumbia hall of famers, who many worldwide know for his epic cover of Fela Kuti's "Shacalao" and some might remember as the original interpreter of "La Baracunatana," a song that later became a rock en español classic in the hands of Aterciopelados. This one however is not his most relevant recording. The A side is a decent cumbia with a funny lyric about going to the moon where "there will be no gringos acting like the rulers of the globe." The B side is a boring ass slow jam about a soldier who came back after fighting the guerrillas in the jungle and found his mother sick.

LOS CORRALEROS DE MAJAGUAL-La Gustadera/Mi Sombrero Viejo (Discos Fuentes, Date Unknown): Another favorite from Discos Fuentes. Along with Afrosound, Los Corraleros are the best group that came from that legendary label during its golden age. Especially when they had Calixto Ochoa as a singer. These are two very up-tempo dance tracks, so fast that they don't fall under the cumbia category and are labeled as charanga and paseaito, respectively. Still, whatever you call it, for the untrained ear it all sounds like cumbia but faster. If somebody wants to jump in and explain the differences between all those Colombian cumbia subgenres, please feel invited to do so.

LOS HERMANOS MARTINEZ DE ALLENDE-La Ardilla/Carterita de Nylon (Discos Dominante, Date Unknown): Once again I have to admit my complete ignorance about this one here. My assumption is that it's a Tex-Mex group, but they could be just Mexican too. I picked it up for a dollar in a box full of random crap and although I was afraid it could be one of those Mexican rancheros doing horrible cumbias, what made me decide to get it was the inclusion of the song "La Ardillita" (in this case wrongly named "La Ardilla") a Peruvian chicha classic by Enrique Delgado and his group Los Destellos (included in Vampi Soul's Cumbia Beat compilation). Of course it's not better than the original, but it's an ok version worth having.


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